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Fitness Together: Group Classes

Fitness

Fitness together is an approach that is becoming increasingly popular in gyms and fitness clubs throughout the country. The idea is to take some of the most popular exercise activities and routines, such as stationary bicycle riding, Pilates or yoga, and conduct group classes at a price far below what a personal trainer would charge.

Why Consider the Fitness Together Approach?

  • Expert help. All group classes are led by instructors who are knowledgeable and can teach the proper way to perform the exercise routine. While there is not as much one-on-one instruction as you might get with a personal trainer, you can learn both through your questions and the questions of others in the class.
  • Low cost. Because 15 to 20 people are paying for the class, the price is much lower per person than a personal trainer would charge to oversee the same exercise routine. Also, there is more flexibility as far as attendance is concerned. It's much easier to miss a group class since you are just one of many in the room and your absence that one session doesn’t affect whether the class takes place or not.
  • Greater motivation. Motivation is everything when it comes to exercise. The more motivated you are, the more successful you will be, it's that simple. The fitness together concept offers several different types of motivation. First, there is the leader of the group who is probably skilled at getting the most out of everyone in the class. Second is the group dynamic. Many people are spurred to work as hard or harder than those around them. Third is the cost factor. Many people feel like they're wasting money if they don't try as hard as they can in a group exercise class.
  • Social factor. Because you are chasing fitness together with others in the same class, you are likely to meet people and create relationships. Most fitness experts say that finding a workout partner increases performance levels.

Issues with the Fitness Together Approach

  • Social factor. While you may make good friends and consider virtually everyone in the class a workout partner, there's also the chance that one or more of the exercise class members will be loud, obnoxious and impossible to get along with. There's no way to know if you will feel comfortable with the group until the class actually begins.
  • Little personalized attention. Unlike a session with a personal trainer, it's impossible to get the same amount of feedback or to get all of your questions answered when the trainer is working with 15 to 20 other people at the same time.
  • Classes not designed for you. Decisions on the pace of the class will usually be made based on the lowest performing members in the class. So if you are one of the peak performers, you may feel like the class isn't all that challenging because the pace must be based on class members who are not as capable as you are.

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